This is a blog about unified communications (voice, im, sms), open government, community involvement, and, of course, me, Mark Silverberg.
A screencast I created showing off a mashup of unified communications (Tropo) and an API for finding volunteer opportunities (allforgood.org). Tropo is a communications API provider that makes it dead simple to integrate any application with the voice/phone, SMS, instant messaging, and Twitter networks.
Problem: You’re at a foreign restaurant and your dining partner asks what “gruyere” is. OK, good; your time to shine. You inform them it’s a hard yellow cheese from cow’s milk. Swell. They think that dish sounds good… but ask you to pronounce the word for them. You don’t want to make a fool of yourself with the wrong French accent so you google “gruyere” and Wikipedia is the first result:[ɡʁyjɛʁ] and /ɡrɨˈjɛər/ … not too helpful.
Solution: Text message “gruyere” to 202-618-0887 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In under 70 lines of Ruby code, I’ve built a Tropo app to accept input via text, call you, play the sound file(s) of user-contributed pronunciations from Forvo, and, while you’re on the phone, text message you back a link to the sound file for future reference if you so choose.
Try it out and check out the open source code and quick start instructions on GitHub - it’s free. Comment, modify, and share it. The code has a lot of comments and if you get stuck, the Tropo developer documentation and other support channels are always helpful. You can also find me, other Tropo enthusiasts, and support engineers on #tropo (Freenode) at all hours.